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Sehaty Foreign Exchange

    News & views

Reformist Iranian editors produce new daily

TEHRAN, Sept 9 (Reuters) - A team of maverick reformist editors on Thursday brought out a new pro-reform newspaper, their fifth in less than two years, after hardliners closed their latest popular daily.

Akhbar-e Eqtesad, or News of the Economy, hit the newsstands only five days after the liberal Neshat was closed down by hardliners in the judiciary for allegedly insulting Iran's supreme leader and questioning Islamic 'sanctities'.

Latif Safari, a former member of parliament and publisher of Neshat, has been ordered to appear in the special Press Court within 72 hours, and will turn up for interrogation on Saturday, a member of Neshat's editorial board told Reuters.

Safari is free on 200 million rial ($66,700) bail for previous complaints by conservatives against Neshat.

``As the publication of Akhbar-e Eqtesad has coincided with the banning of Neshat, it is important to make clear that this newspaper is not out to act as a surrogate for any other paper,'' Safari told readers.

Iran's hardliners, who have strong ties to the conservative establishment, have long been at loggerheads with President Mohammad Khatami's cultural reforms, which include the promotion of independent-minded newspapers.


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